Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On Muscles

At some point this morning between lapping the last loop of my Windsor and putting on my blazer, I hurt my neck. Twisted, wrenched, pinched, or strained I can't say, but some heretofore unknown and unloved muscle, after decades of flawless service, gave out. And when it did, rest assured I at last noticed it. Now it might have been the searing pain I noticed first, but hot on pain's heels set in my newfound incapacity. I was downright shocked: I can't move.

I'd never noticed just how much I could articulate this ten-pound cranium of bone, blood, and tissue until its range was reduced to about one degree in every direction. So as I leaned prone into the pile of blankets on my bed, the one painless position I quickly found, I remembered happier times: looking to my left, looking up and down. How full of agency, how free life used to be. How my muscles used to carry me carefree through life, upstairs, downstairs, over grass and through water. Heedless of their interconnected flexion and tension I ran for busses and unfurled boat sheets. I shimmied once or twice, I think. I also sat parked in front of my computer, which now seems a gross waste in this respect. (But how else to write?)

So what in return did they ask of me? Only energy, which I could supply in gleeful titillation of my palate and satiety of appetite. Not a bad deal. They even get stronger as necessary and heal themselves. What an ordinary wonder. One can surely see why great minds from Renaissance sculptors to enlightenment physicians marveled at the body's form and exercise.Take David, to the left. Look how weighty, how vital and full of  in he seems in his near stillness. How the slightest suggestion of movement, his contraposto position, suggests a symphony of activity, both actual and potential.

It's a glorious and ennobling potential, the agency of an intellect. So from now on the Half-Windsor, just in case.

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